, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – The East Africa Law Society (EALS) wants Kenya’s Chief Justice to commission an independent expert to determine the suitability of occupancy of Elgon Place by Court of Appeal judges who have refused to relocate there citing health concerns.
EALS president James Aggrey Mwamu said on Wednesday that two contradictory reports released on the safety of the building in Upper Hill Nairobi were causing confusion.
Elgon Place is a newly constructed multi-storey building situated next to a telecommunication transmission station.
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) declared the building safe but the Radiation Protection Board expressed reservations on its safety.
Court of Appeal Judges have refused to relocate to the building arguing that intense exposure to the telecommunication equipment, which releases radioactive emissions, could lead to sickness and even death.
“The Chief Justice should not snub the fundamental health concerns raised by the Judges,” Mwamu said, noting that even the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has raised the red flag over dangers posed by the alleged radioactive masts.
“The LSK are also major stakeholders in delivery of justice and their doubts on health should not be shoved aside,” he said. The EALS President wondered the hurry in relocating the Court of Appeal arguing the Supreme Court where they are currently located is not crumbling.
“The Judiciary deals with fundamental rights of citizens and the Court of Appeal Judges should be protected by similar provisions provided under the Constitution,” Mwamu said. The EALS President also proposed that the Judiciary call a meeting with the Judges towards settling amicably the stalemate that may cause miscarriage of justice.
The LSK, in a letter to its members, warned lawyers against taking cases to the Upper Hill building and asked Mutunga to suspend the move until the building was in the clear for the judges to occupy.
The Radiation Protection Board under the Ministry of Health advised that the building be inspected thoroughly before endangering lives.
The relocation from the court is part of a plan to refurbish the building and acquire new premises for the Judiciary over the next five years. Elgon Place was leased for that purpose.
Acquisition of the building is also part of questions that have been raised against embattled Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Boss Shollei.